Many of us enjoy a good cup of coffee, especially in the morning. Wouldn’t it make the experience even better to know the coffee you’re drinking was organic and fair trade? Organic fair trade coffee comes from small farms in developing countries. The coffee is grown with organic methods that protect the environment and produce a safer product. When the coffee is sold, the proceeds are returned to the farming cooperatives that actually grew the beans. This helps promote a better quality of life for the individual farmers and their families.
Coffee that is certified as organic is produced using methods that meet a very strict set of requirements. The producers may not use any type of pesticides or other synthetic substances on the plants. This included fertilizers and herbicides. Today’s coffee farmers are reducing the amount of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer used on the crops which in turn helps keep the ground water clean, reduces erosion, and helps maintain the forest canopy. The site www.vestaflatbread.com also talks about other benefits.
Fair Trade refers to a social movement that began more than 25 years ago. The movement focuses on using alternative trading methods to help ensure the profits from selling certain commodities are returned to the individual farmers and farming cooperatives who did the work. There are certain requirements that must be met for a product to be considered fair trade. First, a clearly defined portion of the product’s price must be returned to the farm workers or the farmers cooperative. Next, the trade relation must have long term potential and third, a portion of the price is paid up front to the farmers or the cooperative. This helps ensure the producers are not charged exorbitant interest rates.
The products which fall under the Fair Trade Act are those typically produced and exported by developing countries. The most popular items are handicrafts, wine, coffee, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, and flowers. The Act governs how the products are produced and promotes greater equity between international trading partners. The Act helps create better trading conditions and increases transparency, dialogue, and respect between trading partners. It also helps secure certain rights for marginalized workers and producers.
When a coffee is both organic and fair trade, you know it was grown with safe and healthy methods and that those who did the work of cultivating and harvesting the beans will be fairly compensated. To be sure you are purchasing fair trade coffee and that is also organic, look for certification stamps on the product. In the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture certifies all organic products and once approved, the product bears their stamp. Fair trade products are certified by Fair Trade International. This is a non-profit organization that helps ensure the rights of all workers and that the farmers and farming cooperatives receive fair compensation for their products.
Purchasing fair trade organic coffee isn’t much more expensive than purchasing regular domestic coffee. The few extra pennies helps make a huge difference in the life of third-world farmers and you know you’re drinking a safer product, so choose to purchase organic fair trade coffee when you have the chance.